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The Black Velvet drink is a beer cocktail with uncanny pairing: stout and Champagne! It makes for a deliciously intriguing flavor.

Black Velvet Drink
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Here’s a beer cocktail that features the uncanny pairing of beer and wine in one drink! Or stout and champagne, that is. It’s the Black Velvet drink! This ages old cocktail pairs the hoppy bitterness and dark notes of coffee and chocolate with the light fruity bubbles of champagne. It might sound odd, but it really works! Here’s a bit more about this drink and a few tips on how to make it.

What’s in a Black Velvet drink?

The Black Velvet is a beer cocktail that pairs stout beer with sparkling wine, usually Guinness (Irish stout) and champagne (French sparkling wine). It was invented back in 1861 in London, as a cocktail to mourn the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. The black of the stout was intended to signify the black armbands of mourners. (If you enjoy catching up on PBS drama like Victoria, then you’ll appreciate the significance of this historic moment!)

The Black Velvet pairs these two ingredients in a a genius move. The lightness of the sparkling wine perfectly complements the rich, chocolaty flavors of the stout, at the same time bringing out the subtle fruitiness in the beer.

Black Velvet drink

How to make a Black Velvet…a few tips

The Black Velvet is a two ingredient cocktail, which makes it one of the easiest mixed drinks on the planet. All you’ll do is place both ingredients in a champagne flute: easy as pie! There are just a few things to note about this drink to ensure success:

  • Don’t worry about layering the drink. Some definitions of the Black Velvet drink say that it should settle in layers, with the stout on the bottom and champagne on top. Ours did not naturally layer, and what’s more: it tastes better mixed together anyway. Speaking of…
  • Gently mix the drink with a bar spoon, or allow it to sit a few minutes for the flavors to meld. Take a sip right away, and the drink just tastes like Guinness. But if you stir it, the flavors marry into a delightful combination of bubbly sweet, fruity stout beer. We liked it much better stirred together.

What sparkling wine to use to use

The Black Velvet drink was originally made with champagne: because that’s what was available back in 1861 when the drink was invented! Today, there are many more options when it comes to sparkling wine. In fact, Prosecco is much more widely available and cheaper. Here’s what to know about Prosecco vs Champagne:

  • Use a dry champagne. If you opt for champagne, any bottle labeled “brut” works here. Champagne is sparkling wine made in the Champagne region in France.
  • Any type of sparkling wine works, even Prosecco! Prosecco aka Italian sparkling wine, is a little sweeter than champagne and has bigger bubbles. It’s a little cheaper: you can usually get a great bottle for around $15. The flavor is more nuanced: you’ll get notes of apple, pear and lemon. You can also try Cava, Spanish sparkling wine.
Black Velvet drink

More beer and champagne cocktails

There are so many cocktails involving hard liquor: and we’ve made 200+ of them. But some of our favorites are cocktails with beer, wine and champagne! They’re easy to make and always have great flavor. Here are some favorite Beer Cocktails and Champagne Cocktails:

When to serve a Black Velvet

The Black Velvet sophisticated and classy, with a touch of “low brow” from the stout beer. It’s great for serving as a:

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Black Velvet drink

Black Velvet Drink (Stout & Champagne)

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Black Velvet drink is a beer cocktail with uncanny pairing: stout and Champagne! It makes for a deliciously intriguing flavor. 


  • 3 ounces* sparkling wine, like champagne or Prosecco
  • 3 ounces stout beer, like Guinness


  1. Pour the sparkling wine into a flute or highball.
  2. Pour in the stout. Stir with a bar spoon if desired, or allow to sit for a minute or so to allow flavors to marry. Serve immediately. 


*3 ounces = 6 tablespoons. For 8 servings of the Black Velvet, use 1 750 ml bottle of champagne and 3 bottles of Guinness. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Lydia Lowery Busler says:

    The Black Velvet is a yummy way to celebrate and change things up! One tip: to start with the lovely “black-and-tan” *bling* before mixing your fruit with your bitters (really, two aspects of fruit!), pour the champagne over the back of a shallow soup or serving spoon into the drink. The cascade keeps the champagne from mixing and allows it to float for the purpose of serving.